1. Hdd Format For Windows And Mac
  2. Hdd Format For Windows And Mac
  3. Format Pendrive For Windows And Mac
  4. Format Ssd For Windows And Mac
By Juno Posted to NTFS for Mac, updated on August 6th, 2019

With an external hard drive, you can efficiently transfer large files between computers running the same operating system type. However, it could be a totally different story if you plan to do this between a Mac and a PC. That's because, the two platforms have their specific file systems by default: Windows uses NTFS, while Mac use HFS+ or APFS. Out of the box, Windows can't read or write to HFS+/APFS and Macs can't write to NTFS drives.

Apr 30, 2016  Now, let’s take a look at some ways you can format your USB drive on Windows 10. Method 1: Format USB Drive using File Explorer. This is the easiest way and simply requires you to plug in your USB Drive, open the Windows File Explorer and right click your drive to view a number of actions that you can perform. To sum up, it is easy to format an external hard drive for both Mac and Windows PC. You can either choose to format the whole disk as exFAT/FAT, or you can create two separate partitions of HFS+ and NTFS if you prefer. But compared with formatting, an NTFS for Mac driver like iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is a better and feasible solution.

Though the default file system is really a hurdle to use one external hard drive between Windows and Mac, there're still file systems that can connect the two worlds, i.e. FAT32 and exFAT. Thus, in order to use the same external hard drive on both Macs and PCs, you can format your external hard drive and make it compatible with both macOS and Windows OS.

But before that, it will be helpful if you know some background information and do some preparations.

Table of contents
1. Understand common file systems
2. Format an external hard drive to make it compatible with both Mac and PC
  • 2.1 How to format an external hard drive in macOS?
  • 2.2 How to format an external hard drive in Windows?
  • 2.3 How to partition an external hard drive for Mac and Windows PC?
3. Make external hard drives for Mac and PC interchangeable without formatting

Understand common file systems

Whether you're transferring files between Windows and Mac using external hard drives, or other portable storage devices like USB flash drives or SD cards, you'll be told about 3 file systems: FAT32, exFAT and NTFS. But do you know what is the difference between them?

You could use an external hard drive for Mac, such as Seagate Backup Plus drives for Mac and WD my passport for Mac to back up your files, but do you know what makes a hard drive exclusive for Mac is not the disk itself but the file system of this disk?

To answer the questions above and broaden your mind, this part will have a brief introduction to some common file systems.

FAT32

Pros: It can universally work with all versions of Mac, Windows, Linux, game devices, as well as other devices supporting a USB port.

Cons: FAT32 comes with file size limits and drive partition limits. It doesn't support files larger than 4GB, drive partition larger than 32GB on Windows, or drive partition larger than 2TB on macOS.

So FAT32 is commonly used in floppy disks, SD memory cards, USB flash drives as well as many portable and embedded devices. Also, FAT is the standard file system for digital cameras.

exFAT

Pros: The largest partition and file sizes it supported are nearly unlimited by today's standards.

Cons: exFAT file system is not compatible with older operating systems. It should be used in macOS 10.6.5 or newer, and PC need to be Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7 or newer.

As most users have upgraded operating system, it is actually quite easy to meet to lowest operating system requirements of exFAT. So exFAT can be a very good option to share external hard drive between macOS and Windows. Similarly, it also optimized for flash memory drives such as USB flash drives and SD cards. It can be easily implemented in firmware that has low memory and low power requirements, such as cameras, mobile phones, media players, etc.

NTFS

Pros: It is an improvement for FAT32, and it is used as the default file system of Windows system hard drive due to its improved performance, reliability, and disk space use.

Windows

Cons: You can't write to NTFS drives in macOS and the disabled-by-default write support for NTFS in macOS is unstable.

Mac OS Extended (HFS+)

Pros: It is the primary file system of Apple computers with the 1998 release of Mac OS 8.1. It also frequently used as Time Machine backup external hard drives of WD, Seagate, etc.

Cons: If HFS+ format volume is connected to a computer running Mac OS 8.0 or earlier, the files will not be visible or accessible.

APFS

Pros: The proprietary file system for macOS High Sierra (10.13), macOS Mojave (10.14), and macOS Catalina (10.15). It is optimized for flash drives and SSD with a primary focus on encryption.

Cons: Because APFS has no support for hard links to directories while Time Machine still relies on them, APFS is not yet a good option for backup volumes for Mac.

Format external hard drives to make it compatible with both Mac and PC

Though you can't use APFS/HFS+ on Windows PCs nor write to NTFS on Macs by default, there're still file systems that bridge the two worlds, i.e. FAT32 and exFAT. Yes! You can format your external hard drives with FAT32 or exFAT to make it compatible with both Macs and Windows PCs, .

Warning: Formatting a disk or a partition will erase data on this drive. Make sure you have a copy of data backup in hand if you have important files on this external hard drive. However, if you have formatted this drive and are encountering data loss, you can recover data from formatted external hard drive with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

How to format an external hard drive in macOS?

If you are using an APFS/HFS+ formatted hard drive on Mac right now, and you want to use it on Windows PC as well, you can use the method below to format your external hard drive with exFAT/FAT32. Also, if you plug in an NTFS formatted drive to your Mac and you have a copy of data backup, then you can follow the following steps to format your external hard drive for both Mac and PC without worrying data loss.

1. Click on Launchpad at the dock of your Mac, choose Other in the menu, and then select Disk Utility to open.

2. Select this external hard drive on the left part of the window.

3. Click the Erase on the top of the window.

4. Give a name to this disk, choose MS-DOS (FAT) or exFAT in the context menu, then choose a scheme.

Tips: You can choose FAT when you need maximum compatibility with the widest range of devices and if you don't have any files larger than 4 GB. exFAT would be advised if your external hard drive is larger than 2TB. And for better performance, you can choose Guide Partition Map scheme if your disk or partition is larger than 1TB.

5. Click Erase to proceed with this formatting process.

After you format this external hard drive to FAT32 or exFAT, you'll be able to use this disk both on Mac and PC seamlessly.

How to format an external hard drive in Windows?

You can also format your drive on Windows computers by following the steps.

1. Click on This PC/My Computer at your desktop.

2. Connect your external hard drive to your PC, and then select this drive from the list and right-click on it.

3. Choose Format from the contextual menu.

4. Choose format (FAT32 or exFAT), and then set format information (allocation unit size, volume label and format option).

Tips: FAT32 would be better if the partition of your external hard drive is less than 32 GB .

5. Check Perform a quick format and click OK to format the external hard drive.

In Windows OS, you can also format your drive in Disk Management by typing 'disk management' in Windows search or going to Control Panel >Administrative Tools >Create and format hard disk partitions.

How to partition an external hard drive for Mac and Windows PC?

Except for having the whole external hard drive formatted, you can also split this disk with two partitions. One is formatted with the file system that is compatible with macOS, another partition is compatible with Windows conversely. By this means, you can use all the advantages each format has on the respective system.

Warning: Still, you need to back up files on this drive before you begin to create two separate partitions to work for Mac and Windows PC.

Here are the steps to do this, which is a little tricky.

Step 1: Connect your external hard drive to your Mac, and then launch Disk Utility.

Step 2: Click on the drive name in the left sidebar, and then click on Partition at the top.

Step 3: Select Partition in the pop-up menu and click on the add button '+' to create another partition.

Step 4: Click on the untitled half of the pie, give it a name, choose exFAT format, and decide the size according to your need.

Step 5: Click on Apply and this partition will be created.

Step 6: Then click on another partition and format it with Mac OS Extended, and give it a name like 'Mac' for your convenience.

After saving all these changes above, there will be two partitions on your external hard drive. One is formatted with exFAT, and another is HFS+. Then, you need to eject this drive and connect it to a Windows computer, so that you can convert exFAT into NTFS.

Step 1: Search for Disk Management and open it. Then you will find this external hard drive at the lower right column.

Step 2: Right-click the Windows exFAT partition and select Format. Choose NTFS and check 'Quick format' box.

Step 3: Click OK and complete the format process.

By creating two separate partitions, you can use this external hard drive on both Mac and Windows. You won't be able to write to the Mac partition from your Windows computer, and vice versa. Thus, it's a good solution for people who need to swap between two operating systems but with separate work.

Make external hard drives for Mac and PC interchangeable without formatting

Hdd Format For Windows And Mac

NTFS and HFS+ file systems are hassles for users who need to use the same external hard drive on both Mac and Windows. NTFS drive will be read-only on Mac and you can't write to this drive normally in this case. But formatting is not feasible as it includes several steps and you will lose data if you didn't back up your files.

Then, can you solve external hard drive read-only without formatting?

Definitely! If you want to use NTFS formatted external hard drives on Mac, there is a great software called iBoysoft NTFS for Mac that might be helpful.

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac - professional NTFS driver for Mac

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is a professional NTFS for Mac software, which can automatically mount NTFS drives in read-write mode on Mac. It supports macOS Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/Sierra 10.12 and Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11/Yosemite 10.10/Mavericks 10.9/Mountain Lion 10.8. With this useful tool, you'll have full access to NTFS drives on Mac and make your external hard drive interchangeable between Macs and PCs without formatting. Also, you can mount and unmount NTFS drives from the Mac menu bar with advanced and optimized options.

What's more, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is also a handy tool to manage NTFS external drives. You can use it to easily mount, unmount, repair, erase NTFS external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, memory cards, CF cards, pen drives, etc. on Mac.

Tutorial to mount NTFS external hard drive on macOS with read-write mode with iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

Step 1: Free download, install, and launch iBoysoft NTFS for Mac on your computer.

Step 2: Connect your NTFS external hard drive to Mac, and iBoysoft NTFS for Mac will automatically mount it.

Step 3: Write to NTFS external hard drive after the disk has been mounted in read-write mode successfully.

If you want to use HFS+ or APFS formatted external hard drives on Windows, you can also attempt to install HFS+ for Windows software or APFS for Windows software on your PC to get read and write access to this external hard drive.

Conclusion

To sum up, it is easy to format an external hard drive for both Mac and Windows PC. You can either choose to format the whole disk as exFAT/FAT, or you can create two separate partitions of HFS+ and NTFS if you prefer. But compared with formatting, an NTFS for Mac driver like iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is a better and feasible solution.

Hdd Format For Windows And Mac

Reinstall from macOS Recovery

macOS Recovery makes it easy to reinstall the Mac operating system, even if you need to erase your startup disk first. All you need is a connection to the Internet. If a wireless network is available, you can choose it from the Wi-Fi menu in the menu bar. This menu is also available in macOS Recovery.

1. Start up from macOS Recovery

To start up from macOS Recovery, turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold one of the following combinations on your keyboard. Command-R is generally recommended, especially if your Mac was never upgraded to macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later.

Command (⌘)-R

Reinstall the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac (recommended).

Option-⌘-R

Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.

Shift-Option-⌘-R

Reinstall the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.

Release the keys when you see an Apple logo, spinning globe, or other startup screen.

You might be prompted to enter the login password of an administrator of this Mac, or your Apple ID password, or a firmware password. If so, enter the requested password to continue.

When you see the utilities window, you have started up from macOS Recovery.

2. Decide whether to erase (format) your disk

You probably don't need to erase, unless you're selling, trading in, or giving away your Mac, or you have an issue that requires you to erase. If you need to erase your disk before installing macOS, select Disk Utility from the Utilities window, then click Continue. Learn more about when and how to erase.

3. Install macOS

After starting up from macOS Recovery, choose Reinstall macOS (or Reinstall OS X) from the Utilities window. Then click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions to choose your disk and begin installation.

If the installer asks to unlock your disk, enter the password you use to log in to your Mac. If the installer doesn't see your disk, or it says that it can't install on your computer or volume, you might need to erase your disk.

Please allow installation to complete without putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. During installation, your Mac might restart and show a progress bar several times, and the screen might be empty for minutes at a time.

If your Mac restarts to a setup assistant, but you're selling it, trading it in, or giving it away, press Command-Q to quit the assistant without completing setup. Then click Shut Down. When the new owner starts up the Mac, they can use their own information to complete setup.

If you never upgraded to macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later

Format Pendrive For Windows And Mac

If macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later was never installed on your Mac, macOS Recovery works differently:

  • Command-R is still the recommended way to start up from macOS Recovery. This combination makes sure that the installation isn't associated with your Apple ID, which is important if you're selling or giving away your Mac.
  • Option-Command-R installs the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.
  • Shift-Option-Command-R isn't available.

Format Ssd For Windows And Mac

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